20. Carl Elias (Enrico Colantoni) on Person of Interest
2013-2013 Rank: UNRANKED
Though Elias is a crime boss, he has somehow still managed to have a place with Harold and John. When Elias first arrived on the show, he was simply a mobster. But he would soon prove to be a valuable ally to have, especially when hands need to get dirty. Throughout this season, an emergence of a new crime force occurred. The Brotherhood Gang, led by Dominic, was looking to be the predominant crime group in New York. They would be thwarted multiple times by John and the rest of the team. This led to Dominic starting to put the pieces together as to who they are and what they're doing. Elias was the main hurdle in Dominic's way and Elias became a big target because of it. John and his team would put their life on the line for Elias. Sadly, it was all for nothing as Samaritan came in and eliminated both Elias and Dominic.
19. Zeek Braverman (Craig T. Nelson) on Parenthood
2013-2014 Rank: 37 (+16)
As Parenthood came to an end, the patriarch of the family was dealing with the struggles of getting old. Zeek has been great throughout the series, and in the final season he faced scary health issues, bonding with his teenage grandson and acceptance of living for the moments he has left with his family (especially his wife). In the end, the show that has had more genuinely happy and sad moments closed with a sad event handled in a positive way. Zeek sadly passed away peacefully in his home, and the final scene of the series found his family honoring him with a family gathering at the park. It was a truly touching moment appropriate for a family like the Braverman's. I'd like to think Zeek's last moments were being proud of the legacy he left behind with his family.
18. Hank Rizzoli (Ray Romano) on Parenthood
2013-2014 Rank: 27 (+9)
When Hank first appeared on Parenthood, it seemed like he would be another temporary love interest for Sarah to complicate her life. He was initially Sarah's boss who then complicated her life by confusing her while she was engaged to a great (though much younger) guy. They tried dating, but then decided to remain friends. In all of this, Hank discovered he has may have Asperger's and bonded well with Sarah's nephew Max. In the end however, Hank got a handle of things, gained confidence and proved he was the man for Sarah.
17. Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney) on Hell On Wheels
2013-2014 Rank: 38 (+21)
Durant lost a lot of power this season. His intention was to have control of Cheyenne moving forward as a prosperous railroad town, until the arrival of provisional Governor Campbell ruined things for him. Durant has walked the line of likability and hatred throughout the series, and this year he was more on the likable side. Durant represents the endeavor of completing a railroad across the nation. He has been a face, though not always a great one, for the railroad throughout the series. Everything he has worked for has been threatened, and frankly when Cullen sides with him he instantly becomes more likable. As Cullen leaves his railroad in the end of the season, Durant continues to move forward with his eyes on the prize.
16. Adam Braverman (Peter Krause) on Parenthood
2013-2014 Rank: 13 (-3)
Adam is easily the most-worked of the Braverman clan. In the final season, he was balancing both partnership of the Luncheonette with his brother Crosby and opening a school for kids with disabilities with his wife Kristina. By the end of the season (and series), Adam had to make some decisions and had to step away from the Luncheonette, taking over as Headmaster at the school.
15. Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) on Shameless
2013-2014 Rank: 24 (+9)
Over the last five years of creating these rankings, I've become more aware of character development and how some characters can go from hated to loved and vice versa. In the case of Mickey, he has gone from an annoying and frustrating secondary character to very surprisingly one of the main heartbeats of Shameless. It is shocking how much you want to root for him now. He was initially a bully (though still sort of is) who was someone to hate in the neighborhood. But then we found out he was secretly gay and in a fling with Ian. He was still pretty despised at that point. Then he slowly started to accept his feelings for Ian and would eventually admit his love to the world (which surprised no one on the show). Now he has become sort of an extended member of the Galagher family and oddly more stable.
14. Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White) on Shameless
2013-2014 Rank: 18 (+4)
Lip seems to be the only Gallagher who has a legitimate shot at getting out of the dumps. His sister Fiona comes close, but makes too many poor decisions while also maintaining guardianship of their younger siblings. Lip of course keeps coming back because of his love for his siblings, though the opportunities are really opening up for him at college and soon on a professional level. I don't think he'll be able to keep balancing both and will have to eventually make a tough decision, but so far he is managing.
13. Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) on Justified
2013-2014 Rank: 6 (-7)
Boyd has always been an enthralling character who is a perfect adversary to Justified's hero Raylan. In their final season, Boyd was looking forward to escaping Harlan County for good but could not do it without one more big score. Unfortunately for him, Raylan was using Boyd's fiancée Ava for information. She managed to balance both fairly well, but eventually she broke. Boyd and Raylan would have one final showdown and Raylan was successful. Though I think many thought the series would end with at least one of them dead, but instead Boyd ended up in jail.
12. Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) on The Americans
2013-2014 Rank: Previously Didn't Watch
As always, it is difficult for me to watch all the shows I want on television. The Americans had been on for three seasons before I finally caught up (as I already discussed in the female list). Phillip is a Russian spy in the US during the Cold War and has been in place for many years. He and his wife have two children together but their marriage is mostly a cover. Phillip has become interested in getting away from being spies and try to enjoy his life with his family, whom he loves. Unfortunately it isn't that easy. He manages to balance being a spy, a father, a husband, a husband (he is "married" to a secretary who works at the Pentagon to get information) and a best friend and neighbor to one of the CIA's top Cold War agents.
11. Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) on White Collar
2013-2014 Rank: 8 (-3)
Over the years, Peter has become good friends with his once adversary Neal Caffrey while still keeping him on a short leash. He always really wanted to trust Neal, and has a lot of faith in him. But deep down he knows that Neal is a criminal at heart and could revert to that at any time. In the end (of the series), Peter had to deal with the shock of his partner's death. In the final moments of the series (and a year later on the show), he figured out that Neal faked his death and Peter is happy for him.
10. Det. Lionel Fusco (Kevin Chapman) on Person of Interest
2013-2014 Rank: 12 (+2)
With his former partner (Carter) long gone, Fusco has had to step up even more than he has in the past. Thanks to the Machine reworking the team's (minus Fusco) identities, Fusco received a new partner...Detective John Riley (John Reese's new alias). Fusco must keep a close eye on John to make sure he comes off as a detective. Fusco continues to be an unsung hero for a group that includes a tech wizard as the brains (Harold) two former special agent operatives (John and Shaw) and a former villain-turned-ally who has had a direct line to the Machine (Root). Fusco even saved John's life when he was bleeding out in the middle of the snow-covered woods.
9. Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) on Better Call Saul
2013-2014 Rank: New Show, #7 in 2012-2013 on Breaking Bad
This is an odd situation in my TV Ranking history. Mike appeared on this list in the 2012-2013 Ranking at #7 for a different show (Breaking Bad). If you watch Better Call Saul, a prequel to Breaking Bad, then you probably already know that Mike died that season. The actor, Jonathan Banks, then appeared in my 2013-2014 Ranking. He came it at #20 in the Top Comedy Male Characters as Professor Buzz Hickey on Community. Now he's back in the drama category on a new show but as an existing character. You'll see a similar situation with Better Call Saul's lead character later in this Ranking. Anyway, Mike was always a great supporting character on Breaking Bad who we wanted to know more about. Now we get to learn how Mike gets involved with Saul/Jimmy McGill, and maybe eventually Gus as well. Mike was mostly on the sideline in Saul's first season, though there was a great episode dedicated solely to his story and how he ended up in Albuquerque. It even brought him an Emmy nom!
8. Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) on Boardwalk Empire
2013-2014 Rank: 7 (-1)
In the final season of Boardwalk Empire, we learned more about Nucky's past as flashbacks to his youth were fairly prominent. We saw his time as a boy growing up in Atlantic City with an abusive father, then how he became involved with law enforcement, a young girl named Gillian and The Commodore. These flashbacks were clips that paralleled well with what was occurring in the "present" throughout each episode. In the end, as Prohibition was nearing an end and Nucky was attempting to move on, he was shot in the head by the son of Jimmy Darmody. For those who don't remember, Jimmy was essentially raised by Nucky and became his protégé through the first couple seasons of Boardwalk. Jimmy however was getting to powerful as an opposition and Nucky was forced to kill him. So it all came full circle.
7. Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) on Better Call Saul
2013-2014 Rank: New Show, 29 (+22) on Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman
Just like Mike Ehrmantraut above, Jimmy McGill is a character who existed on a previously-ended show and therefore has appeared on this list in the past (though under the moniker Saul Goodman). Better Call Saul is a spin-off/prequel of Breaking Bad and focuses on the rise (if you can call it that) of Saul Goodman. Saul was the corrupt lawyer who worked with the main characters of Breaking Bad. We now get to see where he comes from and will assumingly find out how he becomes Saul. Maybe a Gus Fring sighting is in store for us in the future?
6. Mozzie (Willie Garson) on White Collar
2013-2014 Rank: 9 (+3)
5. Neal Caffrey (Matthew Bomer) on White Collar
2013-2014 Rank: 3 (-2)
Wow, I just realized I am saying farewell to 10 out of 20 of the guys on this list this year. These are mostly due to shows ending. Also, 5 others are already confirmed to be gone after next season. What am I to do! Back on topic...White Collar has always been an enjoyable show for me. I think the concept of White Collar would have been enjoyable, but for me the characters of Neal and Mozzie have always made it for me. The two of them have been through so much together as con artists and assisting the FBI. They always are drawn to the big prize, but they are generally such good people that they've been able to use their skills for a lot of good. Mozzie was definitely the humor of the series, though the show was usually more light-hearted than dark. In the end, Neal faked his death but Mozzie (and the others) believed him to be dead. It is mostly a happy ending, though I feel bad for Mozzie. Of course I do believe he'll figure it out and one day reunite with Neal.
4. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) on Justified
2013-2014 Rank: 2 (-2)
Something about Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat as enamored me since his time on Deadwood. I just feel he does a great job of portraying a cowboy-like grit in a law enforcement roll. It would probably be a completely different story if he were playing villains that I may not enjoy. Raylan's sendoff if mostly unexciting, though appropriate. He has been looking to get a way for a while now, looking to settle down and relax a bit. He eventually moves to Florida to be close to his new daughter. Prior to that, he managed to capture his arch nemesis, Boyd Crowder, without the epic shootout I think many of us expected. It was still a satisfying ending.
3. Harold Finch (Michael Emerson)
2. John Reese (Jim Caviezel) on Person of Interest
2013-2014 Rank: 5 (+2), 4 (+2)
As Samaritan threatens to become more powerful, the team struggle to keep up their work of anonymously helping people. Harold and John (along with Root and Shaw) all received new identities after the previous season thanks to The Machine which allows them to move around in public without being detected. Harold, instead of simply hiding in the shadows, became a university professor. John became a Detective and new partner for Fusco. I enjoyed this turn of events as it added a new dynamic to the show, enabling them to utilize new tools while dealing with new challenges.
1. Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) on Hell On Wheels
2013-2014 Rank: 1 (-1)
Cullen began this past season amongst the Mormons with his new wife and accidental child. He was completely respectful during his time there and earned the respect of his father-in-law. He also eventually helped prove that the Swede was an impostor amongst the Mormons. Cullen took his family and headed back to Cheyenne to get back involved with the railroad. It was not a smooth transition for his new family, but his wife was determined to adapt for him. Later in the season Cullen would be forced to kill his best friend Elam, who had literally lost his mind after a bear attack. His wife took their child and returned to their home at the Mormon fort, but when Cullen arrived to retrieve her he found that there was an outbreak of smallpox that wiped out much of the population. He eventually discovers his wife and child were sent away to get far from there, and far from him. So Cullen leaves the railroad and heads west to find them.
21. Thor 'The Swede' Gundersen (Christopher Heyerdahl) on Hell On Wheels
22. Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon) on Boardwalk Empire
23. Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow) on Orange Is The New Black
24. Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) on Justified
25. Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) on The Americans
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